The book's been written and edited, and it's finally time for your baby to see the light of day. You want to publish your book but wouldn't have a clue where to start...sound familiar? I've been there so I know exactly how you feel, and the farther you delve into it the more overwhelming it can become. The best place to begin is by researching the different types of publishing and deciding which best suits your needs. In the following sections, I have compiled some general information on commonly available publishing options. this time we'll be looking at two kinds of publishing: Traditional Publishing and Partnership Publishing.
Most books at your local bookstore have been published through a traditional publishing house. This type of publisher usually acquires books as solicited manuscripts via literary agents. Their services are primarily performed in-house and include: editing, graphic design, type setting, printing, distribution, and marketing.
There are some important things to understand before approaching a traditional publisher. In most cases, publishers are looking to sign full time authors in the same way a plumbing company would employ a qualified plumber.
This means that once an author signs a contract with a publisher, the author will become the publisher's employee and be obligated to carry out all the necessary on-demand author tasks, such as book signings, interviews, speaking engagements, guest appearances, etc. Authors are expected to build a brand that can be marketed, so publishers are interested in both the book and the author. What is the author's writing background? What accomplishments or awards have been earned? Is the writer active in the writing community? Could this writer produce at least one book each year? And, most importantly, is this author marketable?
A traditional publisher will take on a book only if they believe there is a market for it and that money can be made from it, and only if they believe the author will be as marketable as the books they write.
Partnership or Vanity publishers charge authors fees for limited editorial assistance, poor quality book production, and unrealistic marketing.
Be careful if you decide to work with a Partnership/Vanity publisher. Check the small print; make sure you understand exactly how much cost is involved and what you will receive for your money. Don't sign away all your rights and do try to negotiate a higher royalty for yourself.
If any publisher tells you your book will be a success or even goes as far as guaranteeing it will become a bestseller (I've seen this advertised on some websites) walk away.
While serving as President of a large writers' association, and more recently as a self-publishing consultant and CEO of Publicious self-publishing, I have met many writers who have had the misfortune of being stung by this type of publisher. Often this happened because they hadn't understood what they were signing or, even worse, they had simply been ripped off. The cost to authors can amount to thousands of dollars.
Next time I'll be discussing in depth the pros and cons of self-publishing.
Until then...write on!
|Tags: Andy McDermott / Director|